Friday, February 1, 2008

A Day in the Life

I have been struggling with trying to find something to blog about. I've come to the inescapable conclusion that I just don't have anything to offer right now! I thought I might do a few meme's that I've been tagged with (some as far back as the first week in December!), but I'm coming up blank. In fact, Vee at A Haven for Vee tagged me way back on December 5th, I think, as did Lynne at Lynne's Little Corner. More recently, Jennifer at Dust Bunny Hostage tagged me for a "Give 7 Random Facts About Yourself" meme. Here's the problem, though. I blab so much on this blog that there's just nothing that I can tell you that you don't already know. Seven things is a lot! Really. I mean, I could mention that I watch MXC at night, but that might not mean much to some of you. And for those of you who know what MXC is, well heck...I'm hanging my head in shame that I've exposed that particular secret about myself (she said, blushing furiously). For you higher class folks who don't know what MXC is, let me just assure that it's nothing you should concern yourself about. In fact, forget I mentioned it, okie-doke? I could talk about the fact that I have 6 toes on my left foot, but why would I? First of all, that's just freaky and second of all, it's not even true. I only bring it up because I almost did put it on the list because I just couldn't come up with anything else. (Hey, desperate people can and will make things up and/or lie, you know!) The truth of the matter is, I'm in a boring phase of my life. I'm rather hoping it's just a phase anyway, and not an actual lifestyle. Take today, for example. What'd I do? I went shopping. First I met Randey for lunch. Okay, so I met him for lunch because I needed to switch cars with him...I had that stupid, loud Dakota truck that he loves so much. I hate driving that thing. He had those "Flowmaster" mufflers (or whatever you call them) put on it so now it sounds like something a 16 year old boy would drive. I swear, I get in it, start it up and people turn around to see what young, punk whippersnapper is polluting their air with all that noise and they see me...a rather robust figured, 40+ year old woman trying to scrunch way down in the seat so nobody will see who's actually driving the beast. Anywho, I called Randey and arranged to meet him for lunch (which, as it turns out, may have been a waste of time. I say that because this evening, when Randey went back for seconds after dinner and I said something about it, he said he was starving, having not eaten lunch that day. What the flip? He can't remember dining with his wonderful wife a mere 6 hours earlier? But that's another story. I'll not dwell on it at this time....). So...we switched vehicles and I was off to shop. Why? Because I just didn't have anything better to do. I went to Marshall's, bought Kara another outfit (that kid's going to have a fuller wardrobe than the Queen of England and she's three months away from birth still!). I also found Maddy Moose the most wonderful faux fur blanket. It's furry on one side and velvety on the other. And it's WHITE! (Don't panic, Jodie. I checked and it's machine washable. lol). I found a bunny for Easter to set around the house and a resin, shamrock embellished top-hat to use for a candy dish for St. Paddy's Day. I went to Kirkland's afterwards and then Bed, Bath & Beyond (a store that is sorely in need of a lesson in how to discount Christmas merchandise! Good grief, people - it's over a month since Christmas! Anything Christmas themed should be about 90% off, not 50%! Sheesh!). Then I tootled on over to the mall. Found some earrings at the Brighton store. Got a latte at Starbucks. Checked out the stuff the Disney store was offering. Cruised thru Hallmark, where I found a birthday card for my step-sister and a Batman ornament for Nick and Jodie. I also got a Jim Shore figure featuring Jiminy Cricket and the saying "Let your conscience be your guide", which I've always considered to be primo words to live by. Then I hit Macy's, where I found another loud shirt that almost begged me to buy it. However, at $60 (and that was the discounted price), I left the little darling hanging in the store. But man was it purty! Bright colors and sparkly thingys sewn into the neckline...it was hard to resist. I was a rock, though. Okay. So my checkbook was a rock. I'd already spent enough to ....well. Let's just say I was fairly generous in my efforts to single-handedly jumpstart the Ft. Worth area economy and leave it at that, shall we? I did squeeze out enough to pay for 4 books at Half Price Books, however. Hey! Reading improves the mind, right? Of course it does! So anyway...that was my day. Mindlessly walking and shopping and spending and thinking. At one point, I was hit with the knowledge that I. am. lonely. I am as lonely a human as you're ever likely to find. It's my own doing, of course. (I feel I'd better say that so you know I'm not looking for sympathy here.) I can remember years ago, my kids teasing me because they said I only had one friend (Susan) and my response was that was because "friends are such high maintenance". I was only half-kidding. But I used to not feel that way. Really. I was out-going and happy and friendly and loved having friends. I look back now and wonder what changed, how did I get to be so self-contained in my real life? When did I stop making friends? I don't think there's any one incident that I can point to and say "Ah-ha!". It was a combination of things. When Randey and I got married, he was very jealous of any time I spent with people other than him. I put up with that for awhile, but actually that got real old, real quick. After much "discussion" between us, he got over that feeling. In fact, I'd say that Randey got waaaay over it and has now reached the point of feeling totally and completely secure in our relationship. Which is a good thing. Still...it was a tiresome battle and struggle to get him to that point and it took its toll. Then there was family. Whenever I'd go somewhere to visit family (in another state or town), I was always made to feel like I was doing something "wrong" if I wanted to take time out to visit with friends who lived in the area, too. There was always that "you need to be focusing on your family" thing. Family guilt can really twist you up inside, you know it? But, as a result, I tended to let friendships slide. It was easier, I'm ashamed to say. And then the worst thing in the world happened. My friend, my best friend at the time, committed suicide. Yeah. That rocked my whole world, as you can imagine. I'd failed my friend on some level, that much was obvious. Hell. I'd failed her on every level. I mean a part of me knew that I was not responsible for her death, but another part of me knew that I should have been a better friend to her. Maybe if I'd done something different, she wouldn't have felt whatever it is she was feeling that caused her to take her own life. I saw a therapist afterwards, to deal with the nightmare of it all. She told me that, as evidenced by the method my friend used, it was plain that she meant to die. She wasn't asking for help, she wasn't hoping to be "saved", she just wanted out of her life. How could I not know that? I had moved to another state, true, but I was only 3 hours away from her! How could I not know? Well, I never found an answer to that question, but I did find a way to not feel that sort of horror again. I quit making friends. Except for Susan. Susan and I just "clicked". There was no effort involved. And she's a rock. She's solid, she's smart, she's together. I couldn't have not been friends with her because she and I always seemed to understand one another. But that's pretty darn rare. Everybody else I met required that I actually work at the relationship if I wanted to be friends and, like I said, that's just too high maintenance for me. So the result? I often times find myself lonely. Again, it's my own fault. I know that. Susan lives 5 states away so our "time" together has been reduced to phone calls and maybe one visit a year. (Although, the beauty of a friendship as intense as the one Susan and I share is that we know how the other feels. Distance doesn't change that. That's a comfort.) However, other than Susan, I have no "real life" actual friends. I have a rocky relationship with most of my family...for reasons too numerous to mention here. I have great kids and a great husband, great neighbors, great bloggin buds...great everything! But I don't have anyone to just bum around with, you know what I mean? I read about some of you and your "circle of friends" and I feel envy. I wonder what that's like. And I wonder how you get that. I can't remember. My days of making up close and personal friends are gone. Sometimes I miss those days. But then sometimes, when I think of the pain of losing a friend, I'm grateful for my Rock, Susan (who I feel safe and confident in never losing because she knows my faults and loves me anyway! lol) and I feel content with the knowledge that, if I don't put myself in that position, then I can't let any other friends down. I guess it's a trade off. I just don't know anymore if I'm trading up...or trading down...by not getting involved with other people. I know there's a lot to be said for being alone. But damn...there sure isn't a whole lot of good to be said about being lonely, is there?

27 comments:

  1. You know I think the reason you may be against making new friends is because there aren't many people that are trustworthy or nonjudgemental these days. I know it sounds so negative, but I have come to learn this. A true friend is rare. And it does take a lot of effort when you are first befriending someone on both yours and their part. Some people get too clingy which you know I have much experience with. It's just hard to find someone to confide in like you have Susan. I too am having this problem. You know for my baby shower I can only come up with 9 (3 are neighbors and 2 are friends of my friends)people to invite and that's a stretch. So if you can find a solution to this problem let me know, cause I could use the help too.

    Yes, Kara is going to have so many clothes it is crazy, but it's hard not to buy the cute little girly things. No problem about Maddy's blanket, she will love it. I am just getting concerned over this whole how to get everything back to Florida thing. The time is getting so close, it makes me sad. Nick will love the ornament. It looks like when we get back to the states we will be having 3 trees (Purple, gingerbread, and superheroes), but I look forward to it. Well, I guess I have taken up enough space, I will be sending you a personal email too soon.

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  2. The friendship thing always sends me to thinking about Chad and his best friends. He has two. I feel he is sooooooo lucky to have TWO. These two guys are basicly brothers to him. One of whom hung out in diapers with him. ;) Now that's a life long friend.

    I never had that. I moved around WAY to much as a child and lost the friendships I'd gather. We'd move every 2 years. We did manage to live in the same area for my High School years. But all those kids knew each other since Kindergarden. so for those 4 years I felt left out in a way. I did make 2 best friends during those years. And 1 of them, we still stay in contact. We grew apart as we got older and became adults but we still stay in contact. The other one...hmm, I'd really careless to talk to her anymore....that's a whole other story there...LOL Remind me to tell you one day... ;)

    My best friend now lives in FL and I in Texas. Mary and I talk on the phone EVERY night, ALLLLL night long. I wouldn't trade her for anything. She's the best. We've known each other for 7 years. But we've never met in person.

    ok, I've gone on enough, I need to get to bed. :)

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  3. I have one friend that i met when I was 4. We've been BFF all those years. But our lives have changed in different directions and we do not get together much. I miss having someone to bum around with. I do have two sisters in the area that I'm close with but don' really share the same interests.
    Have you thought about doing some volunteering? It's a great way to meet people. How about an animal rescue?

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  4. Oh boy its very hard to keep friendships intact... life gets in the way, changes take place, and sometime differences of opinions happen..
    I moved a lot as a child and found it hard to keep a good friend. I have a few friends that are great, but I have learned that I am not one of these gals that "HAS" to be surounded by her girlfriends. My hubs and family are my friends and have a better time with them.

    Jodie, if you read this, I have been trying to leave you messages on your blog and it wont let me? I cant find the "comment" spot? I will see if it lets me later on when maybe someone else leaves one first?


    Have a great weekend Kari!

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  5. I just told Uncle Wally (who loves you like a daughter, no kiddin') that for someone who couldn't think of a thing to blog about I'd been reading for five minutes. And as usual, it was a great post. I've been waiting for something new (although I have enjoyed looking at the picture of that empty headed hunk George C. when I came over) and finally you delivered. Look, having a flock of friends is highly overrated. Except for our blogging friends, let me make that perfectly clear, you can never have to many of those, but the friends that you have that you actually get to see and talk too? I have Jacqui, Mau and Joanne...three. They're all I require. They each have their purpose in my life, none are the same...I love them for different reasons and they can't be replaced. Oddly enough, we are all so much alike sometimes I feel as if I made them up out of wholecloth...you have Susan...and for now that's enough for you. Nothing wrong with that. I love you scads, I think we would have been great friends if not for the family connection...hell, I think we're great friends, anyway!
    love ya
    Aunt Sandi
    Friend Sandi

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  6. Kari, you are possibly the most up-front person I've ever met. :>

    Once upon a time, about a decade ago, I was going to a therapist because my life had stalled after the divorce. This is how the conversation went:

    Therapist: What is your best friend's name?

    Me: Deb

    Therapist: Where does she live?

    Me: Oklahoma

    Therapist: That's a few miles away.

    Me: Yes

    Therapist: By virtue of distance, she can not be your best friend.

    Me: Say what?

    Therapist: Best friends are present in our lives. They live in our own communities. It doesn't require money to call them.

    Me: Ahhhh

    So you see, I do understand a little bit about this lonely thing. I think I'm going to call Beth; she lives just over the bridge. Maybe she'd like to have tea this afternoon.

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  7. Another great post, Kari!

    Pat

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  8. Kari
    Don't know what to say. Unlike me !!!!! I don't make friends easily either. Next time you go shopping think of me as a virtual friend (I don't like the crap Starbucks coffee they serve in UK!!)Go somewhere for a really good cup of proper tasting coffee I will think of you as I cook dinner tonight We are having mussels Hope you like them Mary

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  9. I have a lot to say about this but not the time to do it, so I will probably have to post again later. I think we are so much more mobile, and connected to people by wires, that we don't have to make long term relationships any more... I'll speak to that more later.

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  10. Your day sounded just like the ones I have! I mostly go shopping alone..I find myself more and more loving being alone. I don't know if it's to do with age or what but I find I don't need tons of friends around me anymore. At one time I had a circle of friends and every day would involve having coffee together and hanging out and on weekends going to parties, etc. Now I have one close friend, June, who's also my neighbour, but she does a lot of volunteer work at the Senior Citizen Home so I only see her every few days. My best friend Steve lives over 3 hours away and although we talk on the phone almost every day, months can go by before we get together. My mom has a boyfriend who keeps her busy so I'm lucky if I see her once every 2 or 3 weeks! lol Anyway, all this to say I understand where you're coming from:-) xoxo

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  11. Kari....so I typed your name and sat and looked at it for a few minutes.
    Do you know that my daughter knows your name? Do you know that she asks if I have read your blog today? See, she knows because of your fun spirit, that you have made an impression on me. She knows that I LIKE you.
    I have prayed for A WHILE for a friend of similar values (that I can trust) for a long time. God has seen fit to answer that prayer through my friend Jerri, but it is sort of a new friendship. Not very deep yet, but great all the same. But a best friend? I haven't really had one of those since elementary school. Lonely? a little. Loner? yes, by choice.
    You are wonderful Kari. A talented writer who just opens her soul for all to see. I read EVERY FRAPPIN' WORD of this novella, I mean blog post because I care what you have to say. Try to concentrate on what you do have at times and in moods like this. You have the esteem and respect of many your many blog buddies. That ain't half bad! Jennifer

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  12. I'm pretty wary of jumping in and making friends quickly. I have lot of 'friends' but not too many real friends. I guess I rely on my two sisters. Who knew that those little annoying kids would turn out to be my best friends? Except when we yell at each other... :)

    I dont have the answer to being a Republican and a free spirit. If I had to guess, I'd guess you were doing just fine! :)

    But I can tell you about my mom, who manages to pull it off. She is an artist, she paints full time. She is loving and accepting of all people... but get her started on abortion and WATCH OUT. She'll take your head off. It's too bizarre to really describe, my hippy-artist-do-what-you-feel mom can turn on a dime and tell you all about how stupid the Democrats are. I've become a little 'moderate' and she's about to kill me. :)

    Thanks so much for all your sweet and supportive comments Kari. Your are such a warm and inclusive person, I just know we would be friends if we knew each other!

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  13. Kari, I know what you mean. I'm happy and content. I have a great marriage. Wonderful sons. A most fantastic family and a lifelong friendship with my girlfriend Holly. I don't require any thing else to make me happy. And I truly am. But I am lonely.

    Love,
    Julie

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  14. Ok well I am here in Utah and my neighbor made the comment to me when I stopped by to visit a few weeks after we had moved here that she just "wasn't comfortable around people who were not LDS" (mormon) so I guess that was my hint she has not come talk to me since???? I have no one here !!! I mean NO ONE!! Haley is in school all day Molly is 18 months while she is fun, just not the type to sit and have a chat with. My husband is gone for 2 weeks and home for 6 days then gone again. So I am soooo lonely, so I joined the ym and got a personal trainer. I go everyday just for something to do, but the daycare limit is only an hour and a half. I wish I were there to hang out with you!! Love ya Dawn

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  15. AFter getting these incredible responses, you must see that you are not the only one that feels this way. Like you, because of "family stuff' many years ago, I found my self quite isolated and alone most of the time. I found freedom when I went through my divorce, but by then patterns had been set. While I have many acquaintances, I have only 1 or 2 friends...and even that, I tend to question at times.

    I don't want to ramble, but you are not alone (no pun intended there) in this situation. I treasure the connections I have made here in blogland since they have added so much to my everyday life..

    Cassie

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  16. Kari, I do wishe we lived closer. It seems like we are in the same boat sometimes. The funny part is though if you got us two together it would be like a double barrel shot gun.=) love you girl.
    brenda

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  17. You need to get out of your comfort level and try to establish some friends. You can't allow what happened in the past to control your life in the present and the future. You are a very giving person and would make a great friend if you would just allow yourself a little discomfort as you get started.

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  18. Okay Girlfriend, it sounds like you're in a "funk". You might have already unpacked your bags and are temporarily living in Funk City. I've been there. It's kinda nice for a short visit. You know what they say...after 3 days, things start to stink. Okay, here's what you do. Go read this
    about Funk City:

    http://justabeachkat.blogspot.com/2007/05/funk-city.html

    Now gather your supplies and give in to it for a few days, then get your a$$ up and get moving! (my hands are on my hips BTW)

    Hugs and love to you sweet friend!
    Kat

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  19. Kari,

    I swear that most of your post could have been written by me!

    I will be the first person to tell you that I am a HERMIT! Once I come home from work, I don't leave my house. I have NO friends here. I have acquaintances, and people that I work with, but no real friends.

    I think that a lot of that has to do with being military. I used to make friends all the time, but I always ended up having to leave them because we were PCSing. It got to the point where it was just easier not to get too close to anyone because you were always having to let go in the end. Sure, we always said we would stay in touch, and we even tried to in the beginning, but eventually the phone calls, letters, or emails grew further and further apart, until finally there was no contact at all. It's sad, but that is what happens.

    I also believe that a lot of it has to do with what Jodie said. I have had people that I "thought" were my friends only to find out that they are stabbing me in the back. The so called "pot stirrers." And it just got to the point where I withdrew from everyone thinking it's just not worth it.

    I spend most of my time with my husband. He tells me all the time I need to get out and make friends. I go out every once in a while when I am basically forced to.

    It's a shame, that so many people are walking around feeling this way.

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  20. Oh Kari-this was such a post to make us think! I know what you mean though and I'm glad you have found such a good, best friend. It's easy to feel alone, even surrounded by family, isn't it? But, I hope you know that us bloggers all consider you one of our very best friends (even though I've been out of blogging action, you're always there in my thoughts without sounding corny) and if ever you make it to England, I'll definitely be wanting to meet my friend Kari!xx

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  21. Hey Kari you did pretty good for not having anything to blog about. hehe You really manage to tap into what many of us feel but have trouble putting into words. MXC hmm now I'm intrigued and have to look into that.

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  22. Hi kari,

    Man, I go away for a few days and you posr a heavy one for me to come back to. Just kidding with you girl. I think most of us don't have tons of good friends in our lives. My best friend died in 1995 of brain cancer and I have oftened said a person is lucky in their lifetime to have a freind like that and it sounds like you have found that in your best buddy. I have one other friend who I have been friend with since we were 16 and I think that too is unusual. I wish we lived closer because I know we would have a great time together. You have a gift of making people feel comfortable. Anyway, rambling on as usual, I better get going.

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  23. That is so sad about your friend. But pushing others away isn't the answer.

    I must say, though, that it does seem harder to make friends today then it used to be. I am not sure if the times have changed, or I've changed or maybe everyone is just too busy. Hold on to your girl Susan and keep meeting other folks. That's what I'm doing! And my best girlfriends are hundreds of miles away!
    God bless.

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  24. Oh Kari...I SO know how you feel. Now, as silly as it may sound (and whether you want me to or not) I count you as a good friend. Uh huh, I DO. Your Auntie Sandi too...and Kat and Andi and Terri and Pat and Cassie and, well, all of you have been there for me in a way that others may not have been.
    I have days when I feel so lonely...surrounded by family and yet...I love my husband, my kids, my Mom but there are days. Oh yes, there are days.
    Not working outside of the house is isolating and, even though I love my life, it is lonely. I am blessed with some life long friends here that are there if I need them and I do see about once a month. But oh how I wish it was more often.
    I thank God for the discovery of this blog community...it has helped fill a void that was there, causing such an ache. I pray I will meet you all, in person, some day but, until then, I hope you will count on me as a good friend.

    Love you...

    Sue

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  25. "Inspired by the novella written by Granny Skywalker, blogger 'Dust Bunny Hostage' posts one of her own. This blog reviewer finds her work trifle, and under-whelming, but I respect the effort that she puts toward Bold print."

    Kari, come out and play!

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  26. Hi Kari,

    Just stopped by to say hi and read your post. I too have been suffering from a bit of blog burnout. I hear you on the friend thing - expectations are a pain aren't they?
    Heather

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